This week’s WWE Raw had a Seth Rollins-Sami Zayn main event, a 4-way match for a shot at the Intercontinental Title, a Women’s Battle Royal for a title shot and more.
The WWE Crown Jewel PLE took place this past Saturday. It was a pretty good show, albeit a bit predictable at times. The Raw brand matches saw Seth “Freakin” Rollins retain the World Heavyweight Title over Drew McIntyre, Rhea Ripley kept her Women’s World Title over four opponents, Cody Rhodes beat Damian Priest and Sami Zayn defeated JD McDonagh as well. Next up is Survivor Series on November 25th, so they have less than three weeks to build it up.
Please Note: I am going on vacation for 7 days starting this Friday, November 10th, which means no review of Smackdown that night. That also means no review of Raw on November 13, NXT on November 14 and AEW Dynamite on November 15. I will do condensed reviews of those four shows and I will post them after I return. I’ll be back in action on Friday, November 17th for Smackdown that night. It’s my second week off this year. I don’t have a sunny vacation planned or anything like that, but I have some stuff to do around my part of the world, some friends/family to visit, a couple of sporting events and most importantly a break from all the writing that I do. Our TJRWrestling.net news team will continue to cover the business as best we can. I’m really proud of the team we have.
This is the Raw Deal for episode #1589 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
A video package aired showing highlights of Crown Jewel. The Rollins/McIntyre match started the show, but they showed it last because Rollins was starting off Raw.
The Raw introduction video aired to begin the show along with an impressive pyro display.
Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins…and Sami Zayn
Seth “Freakin” Rollins, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, made his entrance wearing some yellow attire including pants, a jacket and some yellow shades. The commentary team of Michael Cole and Wade Barrett hyped up what is coming on this week’s show.
Rollins welcomed us to “Monday Night Rollins” while going over his nicknames as usual. Rollins said thank you to Drew McIntyre for being a man of his word and said he wasn’t in bed with The Judgment Day. At Crown Jewel, The Judgment Day didn’t get involved in the match. Rollins mentioned that after the match, Damian Priest tried to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase, but Sami Zayn stopped that and took the briefcase, so Rollins invited Zayn to come out there to join the party so Rollins could thank him.
Sami Zayn got a nice ovation from the crowd as they sang his song and Zayn joined Rollins in the ring. Zayn didn’t have the Money in the Bank briefcase with him. There were loud “Sami” chants for Zayn.
Rollins asked Zayn if Adam Pearce made him return the Money in the Bank briefcase. Zayn said that was exactly what happened. Rollins said after the match he’s not sure if he could have handled Damian Priest, so he’s thankful for what Zayn did. Zayn said he did it because he’s been dealing with The Judgment Day for months. Zayn said that The Judgment Day talks about running Raw and they hold the championships on Raw except that one (and the Intercontinental Title). Zayn said if Priest won that it would be like The Judgment Day 2.0. Zayn said he would make sure that they would not run this show.
Rollins said he has loved Zayn for standing up for what is right and what he believes in. Rollins said he digs that conviction that Zayn has. Rollins told Zayn that sometimes in life, people like Zayn don’t get what they deserve. Rollins said he is the one that runs Raw around here. Rollins told Zayn that the Money in the Bank contract is not the only way to get that title. Rollins said after Zayn left Pearce’s office, Rollins went in there. Rollins told Zayn he has got himself a World Heavyweight Championship with Rollins and all he has to do is say when.
Zayn said that Rollins caught him off guard because Zayn didn’t expect him to come at him with that. Zayn said that if he wins that World Heavyweight Championship – when he wins that World Heavyweight Championship – he wants to beat a champion who is not compromised. Zayn said that he loves Rollins, they go way back, but we know Rollins isn’t 100% right now. Rollins said they go back a long time and they have done this for decades. Rollins said that they are never 100%, but that never stops them from giving 100%. Rollins said there’s a World Heavyweight Championship with your name on it, so just say when.
Zayn: “Just say when?” He paused. “Well Seth, I can’t think of a better place or a better time than right here tonight!” The fans popped huge for that. Zayn extended his hand and Rollins slapped his hand in agreement.
Analysis: That’s a huge match for the main event of the show. They are two of the best wrestlers in all of WWE and two of my favorites. I thought the promos went a bit long, but it was refreshing to have two babyfaces exchange words like that and be respectful. Rollins and Zayn are around the same age, started wrestling at the same time, wrestled at a lot of similar places before WWE and there is a lot of history there. I liked Seth’s promo about how nobody is ever 100% at that level and it puts over Seth as a fighting champion. It was weird watching an opening promo segment that wasn’t interrupted by The Judgment Day or that started without them.
The Judgment Day was shown hanging out in their locker room with Finn Balor talking to Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio and JD McDonagh. Damian Priest walked in with the Money in the Bank briefcase saying he got it back from Raw GM Adam Pearce. Priest complained about Sami Zayn getting a title shot after screwing him out of his title shot. JD McDonagh was in there wearing a Priest shirt to suck up to the big man. Priest and Balor left for their tag team match.
The New Day entered for a Tag Team Title match up next.
A commercial aired for Survivor Series WarGames on November 25th.
The Judgment Day – Damian Priest & Finn Balor vs. The New Day – Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods
This is not a title match. I thought it was going to be a title match, but it’s not. The New Day made some quick tags leading to double team moves on Balor. Priest tagged in, Woods kicked him in the gut and The New Day knocked both opponents out of the ring. Woods and Kofi each hit somersault dives over the top onto the heels on the floor. They went to break shortly after that.
The match returned with Woods hitting a missile dropkick to Balor. Kofi tagged in against Priest as they exchanged holds leading to Kofi hitting a kick to the face. Kofi hit a cross body block off the top onto Priest. Kofi hit a Boom Drop leg drop. Priest came back with a punch followed by a clothesline. Balor tagged in, Kofi knocked him down getting of a Razor’s Edge and Woods tagged in. Woods kicked Priest while Kofi sent Priest out of the ring. Kofi with a superplex on Balor while legal man Woods hit a top rope elbow on Balor for a two count because Priest broke it up. Priest caught Kofi on the floor and Priest sent Kofi face first into the commentary table top. Woods got a rollup on Balor for two. Priest with a kick, Balor with a Slingblade. Priest back in with a South of Heaven Chokeslam and Balor tagged in with a Coup de Grace for the pinfall win after ten minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Judgment Day – Damian Priest & Finn Balor
Analysis: *** A clean win for the champions in a non-title match. There was a moment where Priest got in a cheap shot kick while he wasn’t legal, but other than that it was clean. I’m certainly fine with that because sometimes even heel champions like The Judgment Day should win that way. The New Day put up a fight of course, but Priest & Balor needed a decisive win like that. I like how it was booked.
There was a clip from earlier in the day when Drew McIntyre drove up to the arena while Jackie Redmond asked what is next? Drew said nothing, he went back into the car and drove away.
Shinsuke Nakamura entered for a singles match.
This Tuesday on NXT: NXT Women’s Champion Lyra Valkyria returns, plus Bron Breakker faces Von Wagner and Iron Survivor Qualification Matches begin.
Akira Tozawa (w/Chad Gable & Otis) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Tozawa is trying to impress his Alpha Academy buddies. Nakamura hit a knee to the ribs. Tozawa caught Nakamura with a German Suplex. Nakamura left the ring, so Tozawa hit him with a cross body block on the floor. Tozawa went up top, but Nakamura kneed him in the ribs. There was a “CM Punk” chant at this point in the match. Nakamura to the middle turnbuckle, but Tozawa stopped that with a hurricanrana for two. Tozawa went up top, jumped off with a senton bomb and Nakamura got his knees up to block. Nakamura charged, but Tozawa got him with a hurricanrana into the pin. Tozawa with another pin attempt for two. Nakamura kicked Tozawa followed by a Kinshasa knee strike for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Shinsuke Nakamura
Analysis: *1/2 A short match to give Nakamura an easy win. Tozawa put up a fight and had some cool moves, but you know he has no shot here.
After the match, Nakamura mocked Alpha Academy, so Otis had a staredown with Nakamura. Otis wanted a fight, but Nakamura left the ring and bailed.
It’s official for later on Raw: Seth “Freakin” Rollins will face Sami Zayn for the World Heavyweight Title. Cole said it was the first time in five months that the title was on the line on Raw.
A video aired about Natalya showing a graphic of her Guinness World Records. Natalya said she has put her family’s legacy on her back. Natalya said she’s seen the next big thing come and go, but she’s still standing. Natalya said she’s the most accomplished woman in the history of WWE.
There was a video with Raw GM Adam Pearce talking about GUNTHER’s next challenger for the Intercontinental Title. Pearce talked about why The Miz, Bronson Reed, Ivar and Ricochet all deserve their spot in the 4-way match leading to an Intercontinental Title match. Pearce said when it’s done we’ll have our next challenger for the Intercontinental Championship.
Analysis: I like how that video was done with Pearce doing a nice job of explaining why each of the four guys were in the match.
The Miz made his entrance as an 8-time Intercontinental Champion. That’s the second most all time. It was “Big” Bronson Reed up next looking for another shot at Gunther. Ivar was next with Valhalla joining him.
Seth Rollins was backstage with the Raw GM Adam Pearce, who asked Seth if he was sure if he wanted to do this tonight. Rollins said that he was born to run. That Rollins/Zayn match is later.
Ricochet made his entrance to join the other three guys in the ring. It’s the top of hour two match. Cole did a shoutout for Erik of The Viking Raiders having neck fusion surgery that was a success. Erik is married to Valhalla. Erik is likely out for a year or perhaps more. It’s a major surgery.
Fatal 4-Way For Intercontinental Title Match: The Miz vs. “Big” Bronson Reed vs. Ivar vs. Ricochet
The winner will get to challenge GUNTHER for the Intercontinental Title at Survivor Series. Fatal 4-Way matches in WWE have no disqualification and no countout.
Ricochet was aggressive early with a dropkick to Miz and a kick to knock Reed down, but Ivar was there to hit Ricochet with a spin kick. Ivar tried a splash, but Miz got out of it. Ivar splashed the chest of Ricochet. Gunther, the Intercontinental Champion, was shown watching on a TV backstage. Ivar set up Ricochet on the top rope, Reed launched Ricochet into the air and Ricochet did a hurricanrana to Ivar while Ricochet had a rough landing on his head/neck. Ricochet and Miz exchanged pin attempts. Ricochet did a clothesline to Miz while Miz hit him with a kick. Miz kicked Ivar on the floor and Reed punched Miz on the floor. Ricochet did a somersault dive over the top, but Reed & Ivar caught him, so they threw Ricochet onto Miz on the floor. Reed and Ivar each hit splashes on their other opponents on the floor. Reed and Ivar did a running cross body block spot on the floor. All four guys were down on the floor, so the show went to break.
Reed had Ricochet in his arms leading to a slam onto Miz against the turnbuckle. Ivar hit Reed with an elbow. Ivar went up top, Reed climbed up after him and Miz & Ricochet joined the party for a Tower of Doom spot off the turnbuckle. The fans chanted “holy shit” for that. Ricochet and Miz exchanged punches. Miz hit a corner clothesline on Ricochet, then Miz kicked Reed and Miz hit a cross body block. Miz hit an impressive DDT on Ivar. Miz hit Ricochet with a double knee attack followed by a DDT for two. Cole was shocked at how good The Miz has looked in this match. Barrett said that the humiliation last week has fired up Miz. The fans chanted “Let’s Go Miz” as Ricochet hit an arm drag and a Recoil. Ricochet tried a splash, so Ivar hit a splash on both guys as Ricochet attempted a pin. Ivar avoided some Ricochet acrobatics and Ivar hit a clothesline for two. Reed picked up Ivar, who slipped out of it and hit a kick. Ivar hit a springboard clothesline on Reed. Ivar hit a running splash on Miz against the turnbuckle. Ricochet hit a spin kick on Ivar. Ricochet delivered a kick to The Miz’s head. Miz and Ricochet hit a double kick to the head to knock each other down. Reed went up top to one turnbuckle while Ivar went up top also and 600+ pounds of beef were on the top rope as Ivar hit a moonsault on Ricochet and Miz avoided Tsunami splash. Ivar pinned Ricochet while Miz pinned Reed. Barrett claimed that Ricochet kicked out. The Miz was announced as the winner. They replayed the finish showing that Ricochet did get his arm up while Miz did pin Reed. It went 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: The Miz
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a great match with a controversial double pin finish. It was obvious on the live showing that Ricochet got his shoulder up before the three count. I thought they did a nice job of showing the replays and explaining why Miz won the match. It wasn’t a decisive win for The Miz, who avoided Reed’s splash and capitalized on that for the win. Based on that GUNTHER segment with The Miz, it felt like it was pretty obvious that Miz would win here. All four guys would be good choices.
(NOTE: There was apparently a mistake with the finish. Ricochet wasn’t supposed to kick out, but he did. Ricochet may have suffered a concussion or some sort of injury early in the match, which perhaps led to him kicking out instead of taking the pin as planned. It sounds like they wanted a Miz-Ivar double pin tie ending.)
After the match, The Miz was celebrating the win so Ivar attacked him from behind. Ivar went up top and hit a moonsault onto Miz. The fans were booing and chanting “you suck” at Ivar.
Analysis: They are trying hard with this babyface turn for The Miz, so having him take a post match beating is a way to get some more fan support. It also puts over Ivar as a threat who didn’t lose that match, so he took out his frustrations on The Miz.
Alpha Academy was backstage with Chad Gable telling Akira Tozawa to listen to him. Otis said he’ll face Shinsuke Nakamura next week. Gable said that they will be at NXT to support Tozawa for his Heritage Cup match. Maxxine Dupri walked in in her new wrestling gear saying if she’s the last woman standing she’ll get a title match. Dupri is ready.
It’s #DIY against The Creed Brothers up next.
This Friday on Smackdown: What’s next for the unstoppable Bloodline? They showed Kairi Sane helping IYO SKY keep her Women’s Title as well. Nothing specific was announced.
A video package aired about The Creed Brothers making their Raw debut last week when they beat the Alpha Academy. It was a great match.
There was a video from earlier today with The Creed Brothers and Ivy Nile signing official Raw contracts with the Raw GM Adam Pearce. #DIY’s Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano walked in saying they were looking forward to this. Pearce made the match official.
Analysis: That’s a cool segment to make it official with The Creed Brothers and Ivy Nile officially on Raw. I like that. It makes it look credible when you have segments like that.
The Creed Brothers – Julius & Brutus Creed vs. #DIY – Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano
Julius hit Ciampa with a forearm smash. Gargano tagged in leading to a clothesline by Ciampa on Julius. Julius lifted up Gragnano teasing a suplex, but Gargano broke free. The Creed caught dives from #DIY and there was more action on the floor. Julius hit Gargano with a forearm, Ciampa knocked Julius down and Brutus jumped off the apron with an elbow smash on Ciampa. All four guys were down on the floor leading to the break. The four-way match had a similar spot.
Julius tried a top rope attack, but Gargano moved out of the way and Gargano superkicked Julius to knock him down. Ciampa tagged in against Brutus with Ciampa hitting six clotheslines in a row including a double clothesline. Ciampa with a reverse DDT to Brutus. Gargano tagged in leading to a double team attack in the corner. Ciampa/Gargano hit a back suplex combo move as Gargano got a two count on Brutus. Gargano hit a shoulder to the ribs. Brutus caught Gargano on his shoulders, then a Samoan Drop and the Creeds hit a standing SSP & standing moonsault for two as Ciampa made the save. Ciampa pulled Butus off the apron and kicked him. Gargano hit a reverse hurricanrana to Julius. Ciampa hit a running knee on Julius and Willow’s Bell on Brutus. Ciampa hit the Fairytale Ending on Julius for just two. Brutus pulled Ciampa out of the ring and Ludwig Kaiser showed up at ringside to kick Gargano in the head. The referee missed that apparently. Julius had Gargano on his shoulders, Brutus got the tag and Brutus hit a Brutus Ball to knock down Gargano and Julius got the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Creed Brothers – Julius & Brutus Creed
Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good with a cheap ending since Ludwig Kaiser cost #DIY so that should set up a rematch since #DIY beat Imperium last week. These guys worked well together. I enjoyed it. The Creeds go to 2-0 on the main roster so obviously WWE is trying to make them credible title threats right away.
There was a video showing highlights of Sami Zayn losing to Roman Reigns in a WWE Title match at Elimination Chambre back in February. Awesome crowd in Sami’s hometown of Montreal.
Sami Zayn was in the locker room watching that video. Jey Uso showed up saying Sami’s going to beat Rollins. Jey said Sami will show everybody he’s the new World Heavyweight Champion. Jey said him and Cody Rhodes get a Tag Team Title rematch next week on Raw. Jey said by this time next week maybe they will both be champions. Jey hugged Sami and left.
Becky Lynch was interviewed by Jackie Redmond, who asked about the women’s battle royal coming up. Lynch said she was there looking for a fight with the entire Raw women’s division and if that fight leads to the Raw Women’s Title then count her in for a potential match with Rhea Ripley. Nia Jax walked in saying that not one woman is going to throw her over the top, which means it’ll be the happiest she has been since she broke Becky’s face. Lynch said that after that happened, she won the main event of WrestleMania and Jax went on to get fired. Lynch said it was good to have her back.
Analysis: Great comeback by Lynch there. I liked that a lot.
Chelsea Green and Piper Niven, the Women’s Tag Team Champions, were interviewed by Byron Saxton, whom Chelsea called Bryan. Green laughed about the other women in the battle royal not being threats to them. Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark walked in. Baszler said she’ll tear apart the first person she sees in that ring. Niven said it is every woman for herself. The champions left. Stark and Baszler talked about it with Baszler claiming she’ll have her hand raised tonight.
They showed some entrances for the Women’s Battle Royal. When Becky Lynch made her entrance, she was attacked from behind by Xia Li, who shoved Lynch down. Li hit a spinning kick to knock Lynch down. Raw GM Adam Pearce showed up to yell at Li. Pearce kicked Li out of competing in the battle royal.
Becky Lynch was shown getting looked at by trainers. Pearce said they need further evaluation for her. Lynch was not in the match.
Analysis: It’s been pretty obvious that WWE has been saving the Rhea Ripley-Becky Lynch likely for WrestleMania 40 next year, so they took Lynch out of this match and keep her strong by not having her lose. Li’s cheap attack gets heat on her while setting up a match between them. Anyway, I fully expect Ripley to hold onto her title until WrestleMania 40 and the opponent will be Becky Lynch.
Women’s Battle Royal
The winner of this match gets a Women’s World Title match against Rhea Ripley at Survivor Series.
Nikki Cross stood in the middle ring in a trance as usual. The other women in the match were fighting, but then they realized Cross was standing there. Nia Jax and Raquel Rodriguez had a staredown looking over Nikki’s head. Jax and Raquel tossed Cross over the top to the floor. Piper Niven was battling Maxxine Dupri against the ropes with Dupri applying an armbar to Niven. Tegan Nox dumped Niven out. Dupri shouted “Thank You” like Chad Gable and Jax knocked Dupri out to get rid of her. The team of Kayden Carter and Katana Chance were hitting some tag team moves on Jax. Chance hit a double knee attack on Raquel and a hurricanrana on Stark onto Raquel. Ivy Nile eliminated Kayden Carter with a kick into the ring post after Carter went to the pron. Nile press slammed Chance onto Carter to eliminate Chance too.
Natalya was battling Raquel with Raquel going for a Powerbomb. Chelsea Green tried to eliminate Raquel and Natalya, but that was a mistake. Raquel eliminated Green easily after that. Nile hit an impressive spin kick on Natalya. There were seven women left. Natalya sent Indi Hartwell to the apron, Nile lifted Natalya to the apron and Natalya avoided Hartwell leading to Natalya shoving Hartwell out. Nile hit a dropkick to eliminate Natalya, who was on the apron. Jax took control with running splashes and strikes on the remaining women. Jax set up Tegan Nox on the turnbuckle and Jax eliminated Nox. There were five women left. Stark, Baszler and Raquel all kicked Jax in a row. Those three women worked together to eliminate Jax and they did it. The final four were Raquel Rodriguez, Shayna Baszler, Zoey Stark and Ivy Nile. Since Nile was on the apron, Jax pulled her off and Nile was eliminated even though Jax was not in the match any more.
It was down to Raquel, Baszler and Stark. Raquel had both women in her arms with Raquel trying to dump them out, but Baszler & Stark worked together to send Raquel over the top to the apron. Baszler and Stark fought on the apron after both women were sent over the top. Baszler tried a Kirifuda Clutch, but then she let go because she might have been eliminated. Stark hit three superkicks and a DDT on the apron leading to Baszler bumping to the floor. It went 16 minutes.
Winner: Zoey Stark
Analysis: **1/4 It was an average battle royal. It was a bit long because the first half was boring. I like that they tried to establish Ivy Nile as a bit of a threat with some eliminations. The Nia Jax elimination spot was booked well with three women working together to get rid of Jax. There are too many “go to the apron and exchange strikes” spots in the match, but that’s because it’s tough for some of the women to take a clothesline over the top to get eliminated. Anyway, Stark winning is fine although it sets up a heel vs. heel match at Survivor Series. I would have rather seen Raquel Rodriguez win.
The win by Zoey Stark means she’ll challenge Rhea Ripley for the Women’s World Title at Survivor Series.
Analysis: I will pick Rhea Ripley to win. Biggest lock of the night.
They showed Sami Zayn and Seth Rollins separately getting ready for their championship match.
Rhea Ripley was interviewed by Jackie Redmond. Ripley said she’ll handle her business at Survivor Series. Zoey Stark walked in saying that Ripley should be focused on her. Stark said she hit Ripley with the Z360 at Crown Jewel, but Nia Jax stopped the pin to prevent Stark from being the champion. Ripley bragged about beating the four women in the Crown Jewel match. Stark told Ripley to hold onto the title tight.
Analysis: It’s nice for Stark to have confidence. As I said, Ripley will win.
They replayed the ending of the four-way match as well as Ivar attacking The Miz after the match.
Next week on Raw in Washington, DC:
* Ivar vs. The Miz
*Tegan Nox vs. Piper Niven
* Otis vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
* Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Judgment Day (Finn Balor & Damian Priest) vs. Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso
Sami Zayn made his entrance as the challenger for the main event.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins was up next as the World Heavyweight Champion. Samantha Irvin was in the ring doing the championship introductions. She did a great job as usual. There was a lot of time left in the show for this match.
World Heavyweight Championship: Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Sami Zayn
They spent a couple of minutes doing a feeling out process going for holds, but nothing significant. Rollins had kinesio tape on his lower back. Zayn sent Rollins out of the ring. Zayn teased a dive to the floor, but Rollins moved and Zayn did a back flip into the ring. They had a staredown leading to a break.
Rollins was working over Zayn with some hard chops in the corner. The fight went out to the floor with Zayn hitting a moonsault off the barricade onto a standing Rollins. Back in the ring, they had a slugfest as they exchanged forearms. This was a more realistic exchange where they actually sold instead of other companies where guys no sell the moves. Rollins sent Zayn into the turnbuckle, Zayn hit a back elbow and Zayn hit an elbow smash off the middle turnbuckle. They had another slugfest that led to Zayn doing a leapfrog followed by a clothesline. There were “Sami” chants after that. Rollins came back with kicks to the body along with a clothesline. Zayn was on the floor, so Rollins hit a suicide dive onto Zayn on the floor. Rollins was selling the back injury. Zayn went back into the ring and hit a somersault dive over the top onto Rollins on the floor. Back in the ring, Rollins hit Zayn with a Slingblade neckbreaker. Rollins hit a running forearm two times in a row and Zayn tried a Helluva Kick, but Rollins moved. Rollins hit a senton bomb followed by a moonsault (Lionsault) for two. Rollins makes every move look so easy. They battled on the apron where Zayn gave Rollins a back body drop. Rollins was down selling the back injury again.
The final break was done as Rollins and Zayn exchanged punches. Zayn hit an uppercut, so Rollins hit a step up enziguri kick. Rollins hit a running knee. Rollins gave Zayn a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle. Zayn came back with a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. That’s what that move usually gets, but as Barrett pointed out that’s what Zayn used to beat JD McDonagh at Crown Jewel. Cole did a great job of getting excited for that nearfall. Rollins hit a forearm to the head. Zayn hit an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle. Zayn charged, Rollins hit a superkick and Rollins hit a Pedigree for one…two…no. Zayn kicked out. The fans were really getting into the match as they chanted “this is awesome” for them. Rollins wanted The Stomp, but Zayn applied a Liontamer submission. Rollins fought it, so Zayn applied a Boston Crab submission. Rollins couldn’t make it to the ropes, then Rollins used his legs to roll up Zayn and sat on top for the one…two…and three! It was not a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for Rollins, but it was a cradle with Rollins sitting on top to win. It went 20 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Seth “Freakin” Rollins
Analysis: ***3/4 I thought it was an excellent match. They gave 20 minutes to two of the best wrestlers in the company and they had a great showing that both guys should be proud of. Rollins sells that back injury so well while Zayn was really aggressive going for pin attempts throughout the match. Since Rollins won with a cradle counter it showed that he barely got by Zayn in this match rather than beating him decisively with a finishing move. Both guys had nearfalls with signature moves like the Blue Thunder Bomb and Pedigree, but they are not primary finishers, yet they work for nearfalls. The announcers did a terrific job calling the match too.
After the match, Zayn was frustrated about the loss while Rollins was down selling the back injury. Rollins got back up, extended his hand and Zayn shook it. Zayn raised Seth’s hand to show him respect. The fans sang Seth’s song.
When Zayn left the ring, The Judgment Day’s Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio and their buddy JD McDonagh attacked Zayn on the floor. They punched Zayn down. Rollins hit a dive onto The Judgment Day on the floor. They beat up Rollins. Jey Uso ran out to the ring for the save. Jey hit two superkicks and a Spear, but Priest kicked Jey to knock him down.
Cody Rhodes ran out for the save to brawl with Priest. Cody worked over Priest with punches. The eight guys were fighting around the ring and it spilled out of the ring as WWE Officials, referees and Raw GM Adam Pearce made their way to ringside. The wrestlers were all on the floor.
Adam Pearce said he was tired of the games every night and every week. Pearce said you four want to play games and you four want to games then we are going to play games. Pearce said we’ll play games in Chicago at Survivor Series in WarGames! The fans popped huge for that.
The wrestlers kept on fighting on the floor. Cody Rhodes went into the ring, then he went up top and jumped onto a pile of guys on the floor. The fans were chanting “Cody” for Rhodes. Rollins and Jey cleared the ring as the show ended there.
Analysis: It was pretty obvious that we would be getting a WarGames match with the Raw guys based on the booking over the last few weeks, so now it’s official. Normally a WWE WarGames match is 5-on-5 so it will be interesting to see who is added to the teams unless WWE wants to go 4-on-4 this year. I think adding Drew McIntyre to The Judgment Day heel side would be a good move. They can pick a number of different guys to be a fifth babyface, including somebody from Smackdown like Kevin Owens. I’m a big fan of the WarGames matches, so I look forward to the build to this match.
— WWE (@WWE) November 7, 2023
Three Stars of the Show
- Seth Rollins
- Sami Zayn
- The Miz/Ivar
8 out of 10
Last week: 7.5
2023 Average: 7.36
Final Thoughts on WWE Raw
I thought it was a great episode of Raw this week. The main event between Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn was excellent. Going 20 minutes in a competitive World Heavyweight Title match is certainly better than some random tag team match or The Judgment Day facing one of their rivals again. They had a logical way to build the match in the opening segment too, so I liked that rather than randomly doing a World Title match. Post match was really well done with five minutes left leading to the WarGames announcement as well. That should be fun to watch.
There were a couple of matches that felt more important than usual due to the winners getting title shots. The men’s 4-Way match was very entertaining although apparently Ricochet was dazed during the match and not supposed to kick. That led to confusion with The Miz announced as the winner while Ivar attacked Miz post match, so they have a match next week. Anyway, I liked the match quite a bit. The women’s battle royal was really just average stuff.
It’s cool to see the tag team division getting more attention on Raw with The Creed Brothers and #DIY having an entertaining match while The Judgment Day had a decisive win over The New Day. There seems to be a focus on both Raw & Smackdown to build up the men’s tag team divisions and I like to see it.
The next WWE PLE is Survivor Series on November 25th from Chicago. Here’s the lineup:
* Men’s WarGames Match: Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn & ??? vs. The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh
* Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. The Miz
* Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zoey Stark
WWE Survivor Series airs on Saturday, November 25th, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, streaming live exclusively on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.
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